Children’s Rights Alliance Pays Tribute to Enda Kenny TD
The Children’s Rights Alliance has paid tribute to Enda Kenny TD following his retirement as leader of the Fine Gael party.
Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, said today: “We would like to thank Enda Kenny as outgoing leader of our country for his actions to promote children’s rights.
One of his first decisions upon taking office was to create a brand-new Department of Children and Youth Affairs led by a Minister for Children and Youth Affairs with a full position at Cabinet. This signalled a political wish to put children sitting at the top-table, alongside other big portfolios like Finance, Social Protection and Justice. It showed a desire to repair the wounds of the past where children were seen and not heard, and abuse was endemic.
Kenny was Taoiseach during the passage of the Children’s Rights referendum and the Marriage Equality referendum, impacting upon the lives of many children in Ireland. He oversaw the development of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, free GP cards for the under 6s and the extension of free pre-school to two years per child. He was Taoiseach for landmark events including the introduction of an effective ban on corporal punishment. Vital legislation for children happened during his tenure including the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 and the Sexual Offences Act 2017.
On Brexit, we are grateful to Enda Kenny for reaching out to members of civil society, moving the discussion beyond pure economics and including a focus on the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement, children’s rights and child protection.
We look forward to working with the next Taoiseach to address the outstanding challenges facing many children in Ireland. This includes reducing a child poverty rate that has doubled in the last ten years, and ending the child homelessness disaster. Far more action is needed to improve life for vulnerable children, such as those in direct provision, many Traveller children, children with mental health problems and those with disabilities. Key to this is political will as well as the roll-out of the commitments contained in Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures, the National Policy Framework for Children and Young People.”
For further information, please contact Emma McKinley
01 662 9400 / 087 655 9067